Whether you’re a guest or a host, parties are a great opportunity to make and reinforce friendships. Some people have a natural affinity for social events, while others feel dread whenever that much social pressure is on them. Having a plan and knowing what to do can help bring down your anxiety and let your inner party monster shine through.
Limber and Freshen Up
Stretching and exercise help your body feel better and release chemicals that improve your mood. Heightening your heart rate and other biometrics will make your body feel comparatively more relaxed once you get to a resting heart rate, so the physical changes help ease anxiety, too.
Whether you work out beforehand or not, clean yourself. You don’t need to smell like the laundry detergent aisle, but you should at least take a shower, brush your teeth, and put on fresh clothes. The nicest person in the world is going to scare people away if they are covered in a layer of grime and have a miasma of funk.
Learn Some Stuff
Eventually, being at a party where you want to interact with people will require some talking. Everyone has hobbies and activities where they can talk someone’s ear off for a few hours if someone else shows interest, but those interests tend to be more narrow. Pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone to pick up new conversation pieces can really help you participate in a positive way. If the party has a theme or if the guests are from a specific field like a group of nursing majors, research some current events on the topic as well as the basics to let you engage. General topics like new music and scientific discoveries are fantastic pepper for a meal of talking.
It’s alright if you can’t learn all the details, but don’t act certain if you’re not sure of the details. Either someone might correct you and make you look foolish, or your new friends will find out later and doubt your words. Having a vague idea and letting someone else fill in the specifics or having a group Google session are much better outcomes.
Activities take the focus away from conversations and onto action. When the activity goes well, it also gives people things to talk about afterward. Dance clubs are as popular as they are because it’s a group activity with little talking. Another classic example with less floor space needed is karaoke, where people take turns singing songs in front of their friends. Being good is not a requirement, and being bad in an entertaining way might be even better. Video, card, and board games are also good for keeping people engaged with one another without someone having to drive the conversation, but they tend to work better in smaller and low-key environments. Setting up the intended activity ahead of time can help. If you bring the activities up as an unexpected option, don’t take a refusal personally or push back if people don’t want to participate.
Promote Your People
You don’t have to be the center of attention to be cool at a party to have a good time and make friends. If you’re wearing a Larsson and Jennings watch though, you’ll be sure to get noticed. Trying to be the center can backfire as often as it succeeds, especially if you force it. When someone else is making an effort, be supportive when you can. That could be making a point to bring attention back to someone who was interrupted by someone else after the interrupter finishes. Hype someone up if a song comes on that inspires them into an impromptu song and dance. Ask questions when someone mentions an accomplishment or interest of theirs. It’s possible to make friends while being self-centered, but showing you can be supportive will help your charisma.
Showing up with a bottle of vodka, a case of tallboys, or an ounce of Alaskan Thunder Fuck is a quick way to ingratiate yourself with some party goers. Drugs are also a good way to get yourself into an afterparty. With fewer people around and more time, you can get to know people in a more intimate environment. They might also help you relax, and one of the best things you can do for your charisma is to let it flow naturally. Make sure the drug of choice is legal for the people you’ll be serving it to before you stop by the liquor store or one of the Florida dispensaries you find on WeedMaps.
To jump back to a previous suggestion, drugs and games go well together. Beer pong is a classic college party game, and it’s not hard to add a competitive or random element to make it more entertaining.
If you know the party is drug-free or don’t partake, a case of tasty drinks and some shareable food is just as good for some people. Receiving gifts is a love language for many people, so the important thing is offering one that they’ll enjoy and feel no guilt about accepting.